Urban Night Sky Places

View of the Milky Way peering over distant light domes at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: Andy Jones

View of the Milky Way peering over distant light domes at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: Andy Jones

An IDA Urban Night Sky Place is a municipal park, open space, observing site, or other similar property near or surrounded by large urban environs whose planning and design actively promote an authentic nighttime experience in the midst of significant artificial light. By virtue of their characteristics, these sites do not qualify for designation within any other International Dark Sky Places category. However, they are worthy of recognition for their efforts to educate the public on the benefits of proper outdoor lighting that ensures public safety while minimizing potential harm to the natural nighttime environment.

Certified IDA Urban Night Sky Places

Designate an Urban Night Sky Place

IDA designates International Dark Sky Places following a rigorous application process requiring applicants to demonstrate robust community support for dark sky protection and document designation-specific program requirements. Learn more and start the process here.

Download the current Urban Night Sky Place guidelines

2018 Urban Night Sky Place Guidelines (PDF)
2018 Urban Night Sky Place Checklist

Submission and Review Process

IDSP applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and in the order they are received. When the applicant completes a draft application, they will need to email a single PDF document to the Director of Conservation with the name of the site and designation type in the subject line. Staff will reach out to the applicant with further instructions and guidance to craft a complete and thorough application. Once IDA Staff deems the application complete, it will be provided to the Executive Director for final consideration.

Resources for applicants

Sample Lighting Management Plan (PDF)
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Guidelines for Outdoor Lighting (PDF)
How to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current Urban Night Sky Places

Writing Urban Night Sky Place annual reports

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